12.1 The mid-term review succinctly summarised the position in relation to the location of Cosc and the home of the national strategy in the following two paragraphs.
The role of Cosc as a lead agency with a focus on coordination of strategy implementation is widely accepted. Cosc should continue to focus its energy on coordination of the strategy, ensuring clarity with regard to progress and working to enhance the quality of services and information. There was a view raised by some respondents as to whether the Department of Justice and Equality is the most appropriate ‘home’ for Cosc, as much of the funding support is channelled through the health services. In this context, the planned establishment of the Child and Family Support Agency early in 2013 may provide an opportunity for an examination of more general arrangements for family and domestic support services with a view to considering if the location of Cosc should remain as it is.
There are some strong arguments for Cosc remaining within Justice and Equality, given the centrality of crime and crime prevention to the strategy. Though conversely a case can be made for the area providing the greatest level of funding hosting the coordinating body, in this case the Department of Health. However, ultimately, location of the hosting department is unlikely to be the most crucial aspect determining Cosc’s effectiveness. Rather, it is the willingness of participating bodies to engage and provide the necessary resources to support the implementation of the national strategy, with Cosc ensuring coordination and monitoring of progress. (page 34)
12.2 The Child and Family Agency has now been established, under the aegis of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. It is the primary funder of the voluntary sector organisations supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence.